Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New allegations surface in case against Jim Greer

TALLAHASSEE — Allegations of a golf cart filled with prostitutes at a party in the Bahamas surfaced Friday in the criminal case against former Florida GOP Party Chairman Jim Greer.

Delmar Johnson, a former GOP official who is testifying against Greer in return for immunity from prosecution, described the women June 15 as he was questioned under oath by Greer's lawyer.

Johnson was asked to describe events at a 2009 gathering in the Bahamas, scheduled as a thank you party for men only. Those attending included then-Gov. Charlie Crist, lobbyist Brian Ballard and GOP finance chair Harry Sargeant, among others.

Johnson said he presumed the women were prostitutes but provided no details of what occurred. He also said Greer asked him to introduce him to some airline stewardesses but he declined.

The questions came from Damon Chase, a Lake Mary lawyer who represents Greer on criminal fraud charges brought by a statewide grand jury in 2010. He is scheduled to face trial in February.

The Bahamas trip and the women have become a salacious sidelight in the case against Greer as lawyers for some of the men who attended the event battle to keep details of it out of the public eye.

Chase's questions focused primarily on Victory Strategies, a business Greer established with Johnson to handle party fundraising. Johnson says Greer wanted to be a silent partner and kept his name off of corporate documents.

The company is at the heart of the criminal charges against the former chairman.

Johnson said Greer created the company and asked him to become the only named official on company documents. Victory Strategies was to collect 10 percent of all money raised by the party and the two men would divide the profits with Greer collecting 60 percent, Johnson said.

Several witnesses interviewed by investigators say Greer had a number of meetings for men only and refused to allow women to attend unless they were "paid.''

A Florida Department of Law Enforcement report describing the Bahamas event was declared a public record by Orlando Judge Marc Lubet in July but has remained sealed while lawyers appeal his ruling to the 5th District Court of Appeal.

The lawyers who are appealing say they are trying to protect "interested persons'' who could be damaged by the contents of the report. They have refused to identify the clients who hired them.

Ballard and Sargeant have signed affidavits supporting Greer's version of events surrounding the decision to turn party fundraising over to Victory Strategies.

Crist insists that he did not know Greer would personally benefit from the fundraising contract but Ballard and Sargeant say the governor knew of Greer's involvement.

A lawyer for Crist has accused Greer and Chase of possible witness tampering, saying Chase tried to get the former governor to change his testimony or face embarrassing disclosures about his personal life. Crist says Greer and his attorney are "delusional.''

New allegations surface in case against Jim Greer 11/09/12 [Last modified: Friday, November 9, 2012 10:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31

    Blogs

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win

    Blogs

    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  4. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday

    Bucs

    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  5. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter

    Blogs

    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle